A critical parameter optimization of launch vehicle costs

TitleA critical parameter optimization of launch vehicle costs
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHerrmann, T.
Academic DepartmentAerospace Engineering
DegreeMasters of Science
Number of Pages98
Date Published08/2006
UniversityUniversity of Maryland
CityCollege Park
Thesis TypeMasters

A parametric analysis aimed at minimizing costs of payload to low earth orbit is
undertaken. By identifying a range of payload sizes, the effects of manipulating a
number of critical parameters involving vehicle configurations on payload costs were
examined. Vehicle configurations encompass single stage and multistage vehicles with
combinations of airbreathing and/or rocket propulsion systems. Launch systems could be
expendable or reusable on a stage-by-stage basis. Staging velocity is optimized for
minimum cost at each design point. The costing model includes the effects of learning on
production and operations, discount factors for multiyear investments, and the use of
“refurbishment fraction” (fraction of initial procurement costs required for reusable
vehicle refurbishment between flights) for estimating maintenance and turn-around costs.
Overall vehicle recurring and nonrecurring costs are estimated based on sets of inert-mass
cost estimating relations drawn from published sources.

Citation Key97
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